Legal capital flight from Russia more than tripled last year compared with 2003, reaching US$7.9 billion, while the volume of money that illegally left the country via shadowy business transactions jumped by more than 50 percent, the Central Bank said on Thursday. \nCapital flight -- in which Russian businesses and individuals send money overseas, through legal or illegal means, rather than investing it or saving it domestically -- has been a matter of key concern in the country's efforts to establish post-Soviet economic stability. In 1999 and 2000, capital flight amounted to as much as 10 percent of the country's GDP. \nThursday's figures represent about 2 percent of GDP. \nEconomists noted that the overall capital flight figure was below their expectations: the politically charged cases against tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and the Yukos oil company as well as an increased volume of exports for the year meant the scope for money to leave the country had been particularly high last year, they said. \nHowever they suggested that concerns over Russia's political course had helped push up the volume of money that the bank estimates to have been illegally transferred overseas, including by means of fictitious import and export contracts, which jumped from US$15.4 billion to US$23.6 billion, according to the bank's data. \nIn 2003, Russia recorded legal capital flight of US$1.9 billion. After showing net inflows in the second quarter of the year, capital flight leapt in the third quarter as the legal campaign against Yukos and its owners gathered pace. \nPeter Westin, economist at Moscow's Aton investment bank, said he had anticipated capital flight of US$12 billion for last year, and noted that the central bank figures were normally subject to review later. \nA bumper inflow in the last three months of last year of US$10.3 billion had taken the edge off the figures, Westin said, as Yukos began paying back a part of the US$27 billion that tax authorities say it owes in back bills.
‘HERO OF THE ERA’: President Tsai Ing-wen expressed deep sadness at Lee’s passing, and told the government to assist his family with all their needs Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) passed away at 7:24pm yesterday at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. He was 97 years old. The hospital stated the cause of death as septic shock and multiple organ failure. Lee had been hospitalized there since February, when he choked on a mouthful of milk at home. He was later diagnosed with pulmonary infiltrates and aspiration pneumonia. The hospital said that Lee had been treated with antibiotics, but that his health had not improved, as his advanced age and diabetes had inhibited his immune system and led to recurring infections. During his hospitalization, Lee underwent daily kidney dialysis, which removed
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
ROAD TO HISTORY: When Lee Teng-hui joined the KMT, the likelihood of a Taiwanese becoming ROC president, much less its first directly elected one, was hard to imagine Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who was born on Jan. 15, 1923, in the farming community of Sanshi Village, Taihoku Prefecture — now New Taipei City’s Sanzhi District (三芝) — during the Japanese colonial era, and rose to become mayor of Taipei and not only the Republic of China’s (ROC) first Taiwan-born president, but its first directly elected one as well. Educated in the Japanese educational system of the time, Lee, who spoke Japanese, Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), Mandarin and English, won a scholarship to Kyoto Imperial University, but his studies were interrupted by World War II. He earned a bachelor’s
BRIBERY CASE: President Tsai Ing-wen accepted Su Jia-chyuan’s resignation as he said that he deeply regretted causing trouble for the president due to the investigation Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday resigned after his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), was implicated in a bribery case related to a dispute over the ownership of Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). “I resigned from the post so that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would not be bothered by it anymore, and the prosecutors can investigate the case in a fair and just manner. I thank President Tsai once again for supporting me. May the country continue to prosper under her leadership,” Su Jia-chyuan said in a statement. The Presidential Office said that Tsai has accepted